without the tax rates going back up. >> nobody wants to go over the cliff. that's why the day after the election i tried to speed this process up by making the concession to put revenues on the table. and it is unfortunate that the white house spent three weeks doing basically nothing. >> now, the republican counterproposal that we just heard about still includes those bush era tax cuts staying in place for everybody, which president obama has called a nonstarter. so what if we raised taxes a little bit? still be much lower than what americans paid just a generation ago. in 1980, the wealthiest americans paid a marginal tax rate of 70% of their income to uncle sam. now, tax reform under president reagan reduced that rate to 50% and in 1981, and closer to current levels in 1986. today, president obama wants to let the bush era tax cuts expire for wealthy americans only, taking up their marginal federal tax rate from 36% to 39.6%. we're talking about a 3.6 percentage point uptick for households making more than $250,000 a year, only on every dollar they make above the $250,000 amount.